I was talking to a student last night about having a quiet mind and calm body – about reducing and observing the chatter that we become aware of in our practice or in meditation. The conversation got me thinking – a bit like this:
Think of yourself like a group of linked individuals – a shoal of fish, a flock of birds, a pack of wolves, a team of engineers, a troupe of actors, – or a lone hunter – an eagle or a shark. The group has no purpose other than to observe, it mills around idly doing a bit of flying or swimming, or just chattering and so on – staying connected – until an individual has a vision that it communicates to the group which gives it purpose – maybe food or a project. If they were all siting around literally doing nothing, not communicating, then it would take a substantial time to gain their attention and communicate – but in low energy motion the inertia is greatly minimised – all it takes is to give your body purpose. Likewise the lone hunter lazyly drifting, scanning, observing in a state of mindfulness until something stands out as possible prey – then the mind directs and the lazy movement accelerates to high speed co-ordinated action.
Mechanically speaking at least have the engine running and the car in gear while waiting for someone to wave the start flag!
So the mind needs to be clear to allow us to notice and it is helpful to have some internal movement ( some energy available ) in order to have something to direct – and it is important not to have a purpose while observing as this will distract us from simply observing.
We should remember the Tai Chi Classics ” In performing the forms, you should be like the eagle which glides serenely on the wind, but which can swoop instantly to pluck a rabbit from the ground.”